The annual WordPress simeysmiler check-in.

That last post reads as somewhat pretentious to me. I think I was angling for ‘deep’ or ‘meaningful’ – but a year later (as per usual) I feel embarrassed by it. I’m fairly light-hearted, and the tone of that post isn’t representative of my personality at all.

I’m most certainly different to the girl who started this blog – but not so much from the girl who wrote that post last March, or so I thought. That’s funny, given my current opinion on her writing. Anyway – introspection aside, I’m just checking in to give a little update.

In the last year or so, I started phasing out the use of my username around the Sims community. I came up with the idiom ‘simeysmiler’ at the ripe age of thirteen when I was joining the old Sims 2 site – and then, only because ‘rainbowranger’ was already taken. Today, twenty year old me is largely fed up of it – so these days, I’m Laura around and about.

I’m still involved in the Sims community. I’m a bit of a Tumblr dweller these days, which is something I’d never have predicted a year ago. (I despised it.) I’m enjoying just playing the game and sharing the silly things my Sims do, and I’m gradually learning how to create CC – which is an element of the game I wish I’d explored sooner. You can find me here, though I’ll warn you: my updates are generally scattered gameplay pictures.

Uh, life-stage wise, I’m in my third year of a four year degree, which I’m appreciative of. Most arts degrees are a bare three years long; I think I need this extra year to think about what I like doing, and what I’m prepared to focus on. I’m happy to have made some really good friends at college and while I occasionally think I’m nowhere near as accomplished or conscientious as I should be, third level has been of huge benefit to me.

This time, I’m affirming that this blog will no longer be updated. I’ll leave everything I’ve posted here available, but I don’t think I’ll ever have more to add to this place. Not only I not do the whole Sims stories thing any more, but the writing thing has gone out the window too. Although I enjoy playing with words immensely, and I continue to write, it’s not something I do for pleasure necessarily – more so, just because a thought grabs me or because I need to vent. I don’t think of myself as a writer really, so maintaining a writing blog doesn’t appeal to me at all.

It’s not a goodbye to anyone who might be reading this – I’m still on the internet. I’m easily found. I think it’s more of an admission to myself that this isn’t what I do any more, nor is it something I’ll ever do again. Anyway. I was trying to avoid another overblown blog post I’ll eventually cringe at. ^_^

All the best to anyone who’s ever trawled my little corners of the online universe. Who knows – we might cross paths again someday. And happy new year!

– Laura.


This blog I don’t treat kindly enough

This blog and I have had some good times, since starting it two years ago.

It documents my maturity. As a person. A writer. A simmer. It hasn’t recorded any of these things of late, mostly because I haven’t posted in over six months.

But maybe that’s a recording in itself.

Ok, leaving the attempts to be deep and meaningful aside, it’s hard to know what to say. This blog was set up as an alternative space to that I occupied on the Sims 2 website and on various forums (most notably, The Unofficial BBS) – a place I could spam without fear of annoying others or censorship. Now the former is gone forever, and I don’t frequent the latter at all. It’s not that I’ve moved on from the Sims (I still play regularly enough) but that I’ve stopped sharing my experiences online. …Kind of. If you want to see any of my sim doings, check out my bare Livejournal, here.

The writing thing? Oh, that continues – I must update the Short Pieces page at some stage with some of my recent work. [EDIT: done!] What I love about posting my writing online is the lack of anxiety I feel sharing it (relative to real life) – mostly because, the chances of anyone recognising the experiences or people I often write about are minimal.

This isn’t a good-bye letter, nor is it a justification for absence. I don’t have any real reason for not updating any sooner than this. But I can say that I am a somewhat different person to the girl who wrote the last post in this blog, if only through being a year older. Different by virtue of experience – I feel I’ve learned lots in the last few months.

Funnily enough, this is not meant to be a gloomy entry. I’m just rather tired and fresh from reading a blog by a somewhat gloomy friend of mine. To give this post some cheer, have a cute pokemon .gif.

Let’s save the goodbyes for when I leave posting a new update even longer than this…

Camp Nanowrimo: Day Eight

I’m still alive!… and woefully behind on my word count. As it stands, my novel is currently 7,012 words, two and a half chapters long. Which – really – is great… considering I made a bare 621 words last time. I’ve done that more than ten times over. It’s something to be proud of. Progress made!

But – to keep up with the minimum word count I should be hitting each day – by tonight I should hit 13,336. Um – yeah. Not going to happen, I’m afraid! Going along with my own personal goal of two thousands words a day, twenty five days of the month  – that total increases to 14,000.

These are all just figures and statistics. They can easily be surpassed with time and dedication, even over this weekend, if I put my mind to it. What I should be more worried about is, where my novel is actually headed. I feel that I should know, as the writer of it – but I’m pretty clueless mostly. It’s come as a bit of a surprise, the direction I’ve started to take with it. The basic story of Figment is going to be a lot different to how I imagined it three years ago – less melodrama, more reflection.

It’s still very much indulgent – on my part – teen fiction.  But I get a kick out of it and I love that it’s gotten me into writing again. My goal with this was never to craft a well-written, publishable piece of fiction – the former would just be a bonus, the latter seems completely out of reach – but just to start and finish something. I’d really like to be able to say, ‘Oh yeah, I wrote a novel last June. Beginning, middle and end. In thirty days!’ Admittedly it’s not even something I’m going to publicise (much) in real life. The personal satisfaction is what I’m chasing.

So: Figment, then. With a bit of luck, whoever might be reading this won’t have read its previous prologue-only incarnation. It’s crappy teenage writing at its finest – not saying that what I do now is so superior, but I’ve definitely improved since then – and it also gives the game of my current novel away. I’m hinting at the twist as I go along, but the revelation isn’t going to emerge until maybe halfway into the novel – while the other half will revolve around how the characters deal with it. It’s messily done so far – mostly it just looks like a lot of writer oversights on my part – but there’s no time for rewrites. Maybe I’ll save those for a later stage.

There are all of four (prominent) characters in my novel, two of whom can be called the protagonists. The narrator is Seth: a gawky, introverted boy who lives with his mother in a cottage in rural Ireland. He spends his time drawing, painting, reading… and with Liz, the other main character, and his best friend. She is more outgoing, more vivacious than him – yet she is also a social outcast. They are all the other has, but cracks are beginning to show in their friendship; and as his eighteenth birthday approaches, what’s being left unsaid between them threatens to pull them apart indefinitely.

The other two characters are Seth’s mother, who loves her son but worries hugely about him, and Eve, the daughter of the woman who employs Seth in her shop. Although I’m writing as a male character, the male-to-female ratio of characters is fairly imbalanced. Especially as I feel my narrator has a pretty feminine world view; that’s not a dig at any personality but in general, you can tell that the author of this is female! To round off this entry, I’ll throw in a brief extract – nothing much happening in it, but it’s significant. 🙂 Let’s hope next update, I’ll have something more to show for myself!

– – – – –

‘Am I… am I going to see you again?’

That’s the big question these days. It’s something I ask myself every time Liz walks away like this, which has been happening more and more frequently lately. Her answer hasn’t changed yet – but I’m scared to death that someday, it will.

‘Of course,’ she answers smoothly, unemotionally – but her eyes look to be not far off teary. The alarm bells turn to sirens, as my heart stops beating altogether. Liz was, in effect, my only friend. Our relationship was about as unorthodox as it could get – but if I lost her, a great chunk of my life would come to an end. I didn’t think anyone or anything could fill the gap Liz would leave if she was to disappear.

She must see the consternation in my expression, because she smiles to reassure me. ‘I’ll be back maybe the day after tomorrow – you’re not working Sunday, are you?’

‘No, Mrs. K is giving me the day off, with school coming back and everything.’

‘Then I’ll find you on Sunday,’ she promises solemnly.

‘I’ll… miss you,’ I manage to sputter. Again, expression of feelings is not something I’d win medals for.

‘Your soup is getting cold,’ is all she says in reply, pointing at the bowl, which I automatically swivel back to look at.

When I turn around again, she’s already gone.

Proof of my masochism

November tends not to be the best time of year for me to try and write a short novel in. So, when I discovered this I got excited. June is a far emptier month for me, with no exams, no college, no major holidays planned and a quiet social life, given that most of my friends are tied up with school/study/exams themselves. This is something I’d really like to see through to completion.

As for what my novel is going to be about? Anyone who’s lurked through my old TS2 stories might recognise the title. I’m planning a rewrite of this story – using the same idea, but with different themes and tweaked characters. I’m trying for a dramatic improvement in the writing quality. 😉 Also, I’m hoping planning on getting further than just the ‘prologue’ or first chapter this time around.

I don’t want to gush too hard about this, because let’s face it – I’ve planned to do this twice already and I didn’t get further than six hundred or so words… on the FIRST day. Also, my planning in general hasn’t been stellar. I have the bones of two days to work out how many chapters I’m doing, how many words to a chapter, the significance of various characters, what will actually happen in this novel etc. I’m working off about twenty five days as well, as I’m trying to work around existing plans that I’ve made; so, that’s a target of two thousand words a day. Yikes. I’ve managed that with essays when a deadline crept up on me – but doing it every day, for a month? …

Anyway, that’s just a little update. I felt I was neglecting this place a little – not as much as my Flickr account, but it definitely hasn’t seen much action of late. Hopefully that’ll just be a temporary thing!

Looky what I made

LJ, that I like but don’t have much of a clue how to use.

I’m not migrating, just compartmentalising. 😉 Sim stuff, like sim PLAYING stuff goes there. Writery sim stuff, or just plain writery stuff, stays on WordPress. Simples. *chirp*

I don’t know how things will go with LJ, but I’m thinking of being sociable and checking out other people’s journals and stuff. To be fair, I don’t do much of that here – partially because not so many people are on here these days – but I think WP will always have my heart in terms of usability and interface. LJ… hurts my head to look at sometimes. But, yeah. Just a kind of ‘letting you know post’. Also: DONE FOR THE SUMMER! College is over and out, which is great… only my summer is looking frantically uneventful. Job hunting commences soon, which hopefully will prove fruitful; but if it doesn’t, they’re be plenty of time to sim and be online and stuff. Soooo – see you around! 🙂

POTTERMORE and a few downloads

It’s up! 😀

Pottermore membership is something I’ve been envious of for the last few months – since coming to college and talking to fellow Potter fans, who were way more in-tune with the online happenings of the wizarding world. 😉 I have no idea how long this has been up for, but if you’re anything like me (someone who had given up on checking the site frequently in hopes of seeing it open for membership) you might appreciate being alerted to the fact. Get on yer broom and go visit!


Secondly – I come bearing more simmies. Similar to the last set, these are thematic in nature – although slightly more ‘normal’ than my usual offerings. 🙂 Go give them a look, if you’re looking for some fresh summery blood/pixels in your neighbourhood.

let the sun shine, let the sun shine baby